iMiEV as workhorse

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So, this coming Friday there's a Climate Strike-related event at the local high school, and a few of us have been invited to show off our EVs.

Thought I might spice things up with this contraption attached to a bike rack, but I have difficulty keeping a straight face ... can you imagine driving down the road with this thing and the variety of interpretations that might generate? :shock: :evil: :ugeek: :lol:



Hmmm, maybe put together a working demonstration with hardware and draw a block diagram showing -

Windgen --> regulator --> stand-alone 12v battery --> 120vac inverter --> L1 EVSE --> J1772 --> charging the i-MiEV

Now that I think about it, maybe I should also throw in a solar panel or two on the roof...

Work in progress, suggestions welcome.

Edit: Please don't take this seriously - humor intended!
Very fun Joe, though a High Schooler named Brent Singleton beat you to this approach in 2004 with his converted Ford Escort “quadbrid”. His salt flats EV racing camp was powered by wind and sun! See page 8:

I’ll dare you to drive with it fixed down low behind the rear glass so it spins in the vortex. Call it a drag recuperator?
So, with the Fire Evacuation Warning stopping less than 1/2-mile from my home, it was time to even further enlarge the Fire Defensible Space around my house. After seven months of almost complete social isolation, no haircut, a new beard, and almost no i-MiEV use, I pulled out the trailer to remove all the trees, branches, and brush that I had cut down and chipped/mulched and stuffed into carts, as it was a free Town Cleanup Day last Saturday. Photos taken during the work in progress. I accumulated 130,000 FitBit steps over the last seven days, despite the poor air quality due to the smoke from the neighboring fires. After dragging the ultra-heavy containers (green logs sure weigh a lot!) onto the trailer using the power winch, I needed to lift them to stand them up, and so rigged an overhead hoist off a beam supported by two ladders - crude, but it worked! Successfully drove the load almost 10 miles with the i-MiEV to the out-of-town transfer facility, as the local college and its parking lot has been closed due to the pandemic. If they had rejected the carts due to weight, no way would the i-MiEV have pulled that load back up my (steep) driveway! Incidentally, my house had been surrounded by a beautiful green lawn years ago, which I eliminated during the 1988 drought as the monthly water bill had climbed to over $500 - now, I've ripped out most of the drought-and-deer-tolerant native vegetation as it is highly flammable (sigh).



Those pine trees are a lot further away from the balcony than they appear in this photo.

Your place looks good Joe! I'm going to have to start doing the same considering how close these wildfires are getting every year.

I'm been thinking. The best plants to have around in our area might be cactus plants! They don't take much water and they don't look very flammable. I have some prickly pears and if I throw a little water on them they grow like crazy. They taste pretty good too if I can get past all the needles.
Hmm. How much does that trailer weigh? This trailer, with 6 e-bikes in it, put more squish on the Bolt springs than the Saab did on your I-MiEV.

Hmm. How much does that trailer weigh? This trailer, with 6 e-bikes in it, put more squish on the Bolt springs than the Saab did on your I-MiEV.
Look where the center of gravity is. Your trailer's wheels are pretty far aft.

My tongue weight is under 100# and my bare trailer must be at least 500#. I just lugged about 1200# of appliances and furniture a couple of weeks ago (forgot to take a picture) but kept all the heavy stuff centered over the wheels.

A word of caution: my neighbor tried dragging a large broken tree limb up his steep driveway with his i-MiEV. His daughter was driving and basically drove the car to a standstill with the accelerator floored. Something went pop and the car is dead. Neither of us has had the time to troubleshoot it...
That’s quite the balanced trailer then. I was pretty sure tongue weight still wasn’t excessive in my setup, but the Bolt didn’t tow this anywhere. I just had it hooked to the car for stability while loading and then parking the trailer.

Oh no. I had thoughts of attempting the steepest street in the US with mine, but apparently the risk of a stall doing bad things is quite high. Wonder if it was simply a fuse, or did the MCU fail? I’ll be interested to hear the diagnosis (in its own thread, of course).